Thursday, October 2, 2008

Taiwanese have little taste for Chocolate

Sahamongkol's hit martial-arts drama Chocolate did not make much of a impact as it opened last weekend in Taipei, ranking 13th at the box office, according to Yahoo Taiwan.

Horror performs much better in Taiwan, as shown by the much stronger performance of Grammy Tai Hub's 4bia, which was in eighth place, down from its fourth-place opening the week before.

Chukiat Sakweerakul's romantic drama The Love of Siam, also from Sahamongkol, was at No. 15, down from its 12th place debut the week before.

The No. 1 film in Taiwan is the romantic comedy Cape No. 7, which Variety has news on regarding sales in Pusan. If it's this big a hit -- it's the top-grossing film of the year in Taiwan -- I expect it will be showing up on Thai shores for at least a limited run in the coming months.

Here are the box-office numbers as they relate to the current crop of Thai films in Taipei. They are for Taipei only and have been generously passed along by Stephen Cremin, Udine programmer and Screen International correspondent:

  • Chocolate earned T$222,760 (around US$7,000) on seven screens. Compare that to Chocolate's big brother films from the same team at Sahamongkol -- Ong-Bak earned T$876,390 on 10 screens during its opening, while Tom Yum Goong pulled T$1,051,020 on eight screens.
  • 4bia opened with T$2,295,644 on 14 screens and by this past Tuesday had made T$4,523,533. Compare this to Alone, which opened with T$6,149,925 for a final gross of NT$18,898,326. Alone, a GTH production by the Shutter pair Banjong Pisanthanakul and Parkpoom Wongpoom, is the most successful Thai horror film in Taiwan.
  • The Love of Siam, down to three screens this week, has earned T$929,530. Compare this to another gay-themed romantic drama from Sahamongkol, Poj Arnon's Bangkok Love Story, which finished with T$973,483.

Turning to Hong Kong, 4bia made HK$50,000 from eight screens last week, and made HK$4.03 million after 18 days, according to the Golden Rock, which also notes that Chocolate earned a similar gross in Hong Kong back in April.

And hey, I just noticed on HK Flix that Chocolate received a DVD release in Malaysia -- with English subtitles! It is apparently an anomaly, as HK Flix says "the title is limited to stock on hand and will soon be unavailable."

Anyway, I'm content to wait for now for the eventual DVD release in the U.S. by Magnet, or maybe I'll spring for the U.K. version due out next month.

In the meantime, here's Chocolate star "Jeeja" Yanin Vismitananda on the red carpet last Friday at the Bangkok International Film Festival.

(Photo of Jeeja via by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

1 comment:

  1. I saw Chocolate in Taipei. I was surprised that it had both English and Chinese subtitles. I thought I would have to try and follow the story with my limited knowledge of Thai.

    I felt the film lacked the manic pace of Ong Bak, but they did develop the characters a lot more. Still I look forward to seeing Jeeja's next film.


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